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Astronomia Astrofizyka

Sztuka dawna i współczesna, muzea i kolekcje

Metodologia nauk, Matematyka, Filozofia, Miary i wagi, Pomiary

Substancje, reakcje, energia
Fizyka, chemia i inżynieria materiałowa

Antropologia kulturowa Socjologia Psychologia Zdrowie i medycyna

Przewidywania Kosmologia Religie Ideologia Polityka

Geologia, geofizyka, geochemia, środowisko przyrodnicze

Biologia, biologia molekularna i genetyka

Technologia cyberprzestrzeni, cyberkultura, media i komunikacja

Wiadomości | Gospodarka, biznes, zarządzanie, ekonomia

Budownictwo, energetyka, transport, wytwarzanie, technologie informacyjne

Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR)

Background: Inequalities in Internet use and health information seeking are well documented, but less is known about information for family life activities. Objective: We investigated the social determinants of online family life information seeking behaviors and its associations with family well-being among Chinese adults in Hong Kong. Methods: A probability-based telephone survey was conducted in 2012 to record family life information seeking behaviors, including frequency of seeking and paying attention to family life information, levels of trust, and perceived usefulness of family life information. Family well-being was assessed using 3 single items on perceived family harmony, happiness, and health, with higher scores indicating greater well-being. Adjusted odds ratios for family life information seeking behaviors by socioeconomic characteristics and lifestyle behaviors, and adjusted beta coefficients for family well-being by family life information seeking behaviors were calculated. Results: Of 1537 respondents, 57.57% (855/1537) had ever and 26.45% (407/1537) sought monthly family life information through the Internet. Lower educational attainment and household income, smoking, and physical inactivity were associated with less frequent seeking and paying attention (all P<.05). Greater perceived family health was associated with more frequent attention (adjusted β=.32, 95% CI.11-.52), greater levels of trust (adjusted β=.28, 95% CI .07-.48), and perceived usefulness (adjusted β=.23, 95% CI .01-.45) of family life information. Frequent attention and higher level of trust were also associated with greater family harmony (adjusted β=.22, 95% CI .002-.41) and happiness (adjusted β=.23, 95% CI .003-.42), respectively. Conclusions: This is the first study investigating family life information seeking behaviors and suggested inequalities of online family life information seeking behaviors. The association between family life information seeking behavior and family well-being needs to be confirmed in prospective studies. 2014/10/04 - 16:08

Background: Those who pay for health care are increasingly looking for strategies to influence individuals to take a more active role in managing their health. Incenting health plan members and/or employees to participate in wellness programs is a widely used approach. Objective: In this study, we examine financial incentives to health plan members to participate in an online self-management/wellness program—US $20 for completing the patient activation measure (PAM) and an additional US $40 for completing 8 learning modules. We examined whether the characteristics of plan members differed by the degree to which they responded to the incentives. Further, we examined whether participation in the wellness program was associated with improvements in PAM scores and changes in health care utilization. Methods: This retrospective study compared demographic characteristics and change in PAM scores and health utilization for 144,625 health plan members in 2011. Four groups were compared: (1) those who were offered the incentives but chose not to participate (n=128,634), (2) those who received the initial incentive (PAM only) but did not complete 8 topics (n=7099), (3) those who received both incentives (completing 8 topics but no more) (n=2693), and (4) those who received both incentives and continued using the online program beyond what was required by the incentives (n=6249). Results: The vast majority of health plan members did not participate in the program (88.91%, 128,634/144,675). Of those who participated, only 7099 of 16,041 (44.25%) completed the PAM for the first incentive, 2693 (16.79%) completed 8 topics for the second incentive, and 6249 (38.96%) received both incentives and continued using the program beyond the incentive requirements. Nonparticipants were more likely to be men and to have lower health risk scores on average than the other three groups of participants (P<.001). In multivariate regression models, those who used the online program (8 topics or beyond) increased their PAM score by approximately 1 point more than those who only took the PAM and did not use the wellness program (P<.03). In addition, emergency department visits were lower for all groups who responded to any level of the incentive as compared to those who did not (P<.01). No differences were found in other types of utilization. Conclusions: The incentive was not sufficient to spark most health plan members to use the wellness program. However, the fact that many program participants went beyond the incentive in their use of the online wellness program suggests that the users of the online program found value in using it, and it was their own internal motivation that stimulated this additional use. Providing an incentive for program participation may be an effective pathway for working with less activated patients, particularly if the program is tailored to the needs of the less activated. 2014/10/03 - 10:33

Background: Snowballing involves recursively pursuing relevant references cited in the retrieved literature and adding them to the search results. Snowballing is an alternative approach to discover additional evidence that was not retrieved through conventional search. Snowballing’s effectiveness makes it best practice in systematic reviews despite being time-consuming and tedious. Objective: Our goal was to evaluate an automatic method for citation snowballing’s capacity to identify and retrieve the full text and/or abstracts of cited articles. Methods: Using 20 review articles that contained 949 citations to journal or conference articles, we manually searched Microsoft Academic Search (MAS) and identified 78.0% (740/949) of the cited articles that were present in the database. We compared the performance of the automatic citation snowballing method against the results of this manual search, measuring precision, recall, and F1 score. Results: The automatic method was able to correctly identify 633 (as proportion of included citations: recall=66.7%, F1 score=79.3%; as proportion of citations in MAS: recall=85.5%, F1 score=91.2%) of citations with high precision (97.7%), and retrieved the full text or abstract for 490 (recall=82.9%, precision=92.1%, F1 score=87.3%) of the 633 correctly retrieved citations. Conclusions: The proposed method for automatic citation snowballing is accurate and is capable of obtaining the full texts or abstracts for a substantial proportion of the scholarly citations in review articles. By automating the process of citation snowballing, it may be possible to reduce the time and effort of common evidence surveillance tasks such as keeping trial registries up to date and conducting systematic reviews. 2014/10/01 - 21:58

Background: A major barrier to the use and scale-up of evidence-based interventions are challenges related to training and capacity building. A cost-effective and highly interactive multi-user virtual environment, Second Life (SL) is a promising alternative for comprehensive face-to-face facilitator training. Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the feasibility of using SL to train facilitators from community-based organizations to use ¡Cuídate! (Take Care of Yourself), one of the few evidence-based interventions developed and tested with Latino youth to reduce sexual risk behaviors. Methods: We recruited 35 participants from community-based organizations throughout the United States to participate in the SL ¡Cuídate! Training of Facilitators. Preparation to use SL consisted of four phases: (1) recruitment and computer capacity screening, (2) enrollment, (3) orientation to the SL program, and (4) technical support throughout the synchronous training sessions. Technical difficulties, the associated cause, and the mitigation strategy implemented were recorded during each session. Participants completed evaluations including perceptions of self-efficacy and confidence to complete the necessary skills to participate in SL training. Results: Overall, participants reported high levels of self-efficacy for all skills necessary to participate in SL training. Based on an 11-point scale (0-10), self-efficacy to download and access the software was rated the highest: mean 8.29 (SD 2.19). Interacting with items in SL had the lowest mean score: mean 7.49 (SD 2.89). The majority of technical difficulties experienced by participants were related to inadequate Internet connections or computer malfunctions. Conclusions: Our findings support the feasibility of using SL for the ¡Cuídate! Training of Facilitators. The process used in this study to prepare participants to use SL can be used as a basis for other evidence-based intervention training in SL. This study is an important contribution to developing cost-effective and accessible training options for evidence-based interventions. 2014/10/01 - 21:58

Background: Internet-based guided self-help has been successfully used in the general population, but it is unknown whether this method can be effectively used in outpatient clinics for patients waiting for face-to-face psychotherapy for phobias. Objective: The aim was to assess the clinical effectiveness of Phobias Under Control, an Internet-based intervention based on exposure therapy with weekly guidance. Methods: We conducted a randomized controlled trial, recruiting 212 outpatients scheduled to receive face-to-face psychotherapy for any type of phobia at an outpatient clinic. Participants suffering from at least 1 DSM-IV or ICD-10 classified phobia (social phobia, agoraphobia with or without panic disorder, and/or specific phobia as ascertained by a telephone interview at baseline) were randomly allocated to either a 5-week Internet-based guided self-help program based on exposure therapy with weekly student support followed by face-to-face psychotherapy (n=105) or a wait-list control group followed by face-to-face psychotherapy (n=107). Primary outcome was the Fear Questionnaire (FQ). Secondary outcomes were the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and Center of Epidemiological Studies-Depression scale (CES-D). Assessments took place by telephone at baseline (T0) and on the Internet at posttest (T1, self-assessment at 5 weeks after baseline). Missing data at T1 were imputed. Results: At posttest, analysis of covariance on the intention-to-treat sample showed significant but small effect sizes between intervention and control groups on the FQ (d=0.35, P=.02), CES-D (d=0.34, P=.03), and a nonsignificant effect size on the BAI (d=0.28. P=.05). Although initial acceptance was good, high nonresponse was observed, with 86 of 212 participants (40.5%) lost to follow-up at T1 and only 14 of 105 (13.3%) intervention participants finishing all 5 weeks. Conclusions: Phobias Under Control is modestly effective in lowering phobic and depressive symptoms in a relatively short period and may be clinically beneficial when implemented in routine outpatient practice. Trial Registration: Netherlands Trial Register NTR2233; (Archived by WebCite at 2014/10/01 - 21:58

Background: Web-based health applications, such as self-assessment tools, can aid in the early detection and prevention of diseases. However, there are concerns as to whether such tools actually reach users with elevated disease risk (where prevention efforts are still viable), and whether inaccurate or missing information on risk factors may lead to incorrect evaluations. Objective: This study aimed to evaluate (1) evaluate whether a Web-based cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk communication tool (Heart Age tool) was reaching users at risk of developing CVD, (2) the impact of awareness of total cholesterol (TC), HDL-cholesterol (HDL-C), and systolic blood pressure (SBP) values on the risk estimates, and (3) the key predictors of awareness and reporting of physiological risk factors. Methods: Heart Age is a tool available via a free open access website. Data from 2,744,091 first-time users aged 21-80 years with no prior heart disease were collected from 13 countries in 2009-2011. Users self-reported demographic and CVD risk factor information. Based on these data, an individual’s 10-year CVD risk was calculated according to Framingham CVD risk models and translated into a Heart Age. This is the age for which the individual’s reported CVD risk would be considered “normal”. Depending on the availability of known TC, HDL-C, and SBP values, different algorithms were applied. The impact of awareness of TC, HDL-C, and SBP values on Heart Age was determined using a subsample that had complete risk factor information. Results: Heart Age users (N=2,744,091) were mostly in their 20s (22.76%) and 40s (23.99%), female (56.03%), had multiple (mean 2.9, SD 1.4) risk factors, and a Heart Age exceeding their chronological age (mean 4.00, SD 6.43 years). The proportion of users unaware of their TC, HDL-C, or SBP values was high (77.47%, 93.03%, and 46.55% respectively). Lacking awareness of physiological risk factor values led to overestimation of Heart Age by an average 2.1-4.5 years depending on the (combination of) unknown risk factors (P<.001). Overestimation was greater in women than in men, increased with age, and decreased with increasing CVD risk. Awareness of physiological risk factor values was higher among diabetics (OR 1.47, 95% CI 1.46-1.50 and OR 1.74, 95% CI 1.71-1.77), those with family history of CVD (OR 1.22, 95% CI 1.22-1.23 and OR 1.43, 95% CI 1.42-1.44), and increased with age (OR 1.05, 95% CI 1.05-1.05 and OR 1.07, 95% CI 1.07-1.07). It was lower in smokers (OR 0.52, 95% CI 0.52-0.53 and OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.71-0.72) and decreased with increasing Heart Age (OR 0.92, 95% CI 0.92-0.92 and OR 0.97, 95% CI 0.96-0.97) (all P<.001). Conclusions: The Heart Age tool reached users with low-moderate CVD risk, but with multiple elevated CVD risk factors, and a heart age higher than their real age. This highlights that Web-based self-assessment health tools can be a useful means to interact with people who are at risk of developing disease, but where interventions are still viable. Missing information in the self-assessment health tools was shown to result in inaccurate self-health assessments. Subgroups at risk of not knowing their risk factors are identifiable and should be specifically targeted in health awareness programs. 2014/09/28 - 12:08

Background: In early 2013, a new type of avian influenza, H7N9, emerged in China. It quickly became an issue of great public concern and a widely discussed topic on the Internet. A considerable volume of relevant information was made publicly available on the Internet through various sources. Objective: This study aimed to describe the outbreak of H7N9 in China based on data openly available on the Internet and to validate our investigation by comparing our findings with a well-conducted conventional field epidemiologic study. Methods: We searched publicly accessible Internet data on the H7N9 outbreak primarily from government and major mass media websites in China up to February 10, 2014. Two researchers independently extracted, compared, and confirmed the information of each confirmed H7N9 case using a self-designed data extraction form. We summarized the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of confirmed H7N9 cases and compared them with those from the field study. Results: According to our data updated until February 10, 2014, 334 confirmed H7N9 cases were identified. The median age was 58 years and 67.0% (219/327) were males. Cases were reported in 15 regions in China. Five family clusters were found. Of the 16.8% (56/334) of the cases with relevant data, 69.6% (39/56) reported a history of exposure to animals. Of the 1751 persons with a close contact with a confirmed case, 0.6% (11/1751) of them developed respiratory symptoms during the 7-day surveillance period. In the 97.9% (327/334) of the cases with relevant data, 21.7% (71/327) died, 20.8% (68/327) were discharged from a hospital, and 57.5% (188/327) were of uncertain status. We compared our findings before February 10, 2014 and those before December 1, 2013 with those from the conventional field study, which had the latter cutoff date of ours in data collection. Our study showed most epidemiological and clinical characteristics were similar to those in the field study, except for case fatality (71/327, 21.7% for our data before February 10; 45/138, 32.6% for our data before December 1; 47/139, 33.8% for the field study), time from illness onset to first medical care (4 days, 3 days, and 1 day), and time from illness onset to death (16.5 days, 17 days, and 21 days). Conclusions: Findings from our Internet-based investigation were similar to those from the conventional field study in most epidemiological and clinical aspects of the outbreak. Importantly, publicly available Internet data are open to any interested researchers and can thus greatly facilitate the investigation and control of such outbreaks. With improved efforts for Internet data provision, Internet-based investigation has a great potential to become a quick, economical, novel approach to investigating sudden issues of great public concern that involve a relatively small number of cases like this H7N9 outbreak. 2014/09/26 - 13:38

Background: Preliminary findings suggest that Web-based interventions may be effective in achieving significant smoking cessation. To date, very few findings are available for primary care patients, and especially for the involvement of general practitioners. Objective: Our goal was to examine the short-term effectiveness of a fully automated Web-based coaching program in combination with accompanied telephone counseling in smoking cessation in a primary care setting. Methods: The study was an unblinded cluster-randomized trial with an observation period of 12 weeks. Individuals recruited by general practitioners randomized to the intervention group participated in a Web-based coaching program based on education, motivation, exercise guidance, daily short message service (SMS) reminding, weekly feedback through Internet, and active monitoring by general practitioners. All components of the program are fully automated. Participants in the control group received usual care and advice from their practitioner without the Web-based coaching program. The main outcome was the biochemically confirmed smoking status after 12 weeks. Results: We recruited 168 participants (86 intervention group, 82 control group) into the study. For 51 participants from the intervention group and 70 participants from the control group, follow-up data were available both at baseline and 12 weeks. Very few patients (9.8%, 5/51) from the intervention group and from the control group (8.6%, 6/70) successfully managed smoking cessation (OR 0.86, 95% CI 0.25-3.0; P=.816). Similar results were found within the intent-to-treat analysis: 5.8% (5/86) of the intervention group and 7.3% (6/82) of the control group (OR 1.28, 95% CI 0.38-4.36; P=.694). The number of smoked cigarettes per day decreased on average by 9.3 in the intervention group and by 6.6 in the control group (2.7 mean difference; 95% CI -5.33 to -0.58; P=.045). After adjustment for the baseline value, age, gender, and height, this significance decreases (mean difference 2.2; 95% CI -4.7 to 0.3; P=.080). Conclusions: This trial did not show that the tested Web-based intervention was effective for achieving smoking cessation compared to usual care. The limited statistical power and the high drop-out rate may have reduced the study’s ability to detect significant differences between the groups. Further randomized controlled trials are needed in larger populations and to investigate the long-term outcome. Trial Registration: German Register for Clinical Trials, registration number DRKS00003067; ID=DRKS00003067 (Archived by WebCite at 2014/09/25 - 11:59

Background: Although depression is known to affect millions of people worldwide, individuals seeking aid from qualified health care professionals are faced with a number of barriers to treatment including a lack of treatment resources, limited number of qualified service providers, stigma associated with diagnosis and treatment, prolonged wait times, cost, and barriers to accessibility such as transportation and clinic locations. The delivery of depression interventions through the Internet may provide a practical solution to addressing some of these barriers. Objective: The purpose of this scoping review was to answer the following questions: (1) What Web-delivered programs are currently available that offer an interactive treatment component for depression?, (2) What are the contents, accessibility, and usability of each identified program?, and (3) What tools, supports, and research evidence are available for each identified program? Methods: Using the popular search engines Google, Yahoo, and Bing (Canadian platforms), two reviewers independently searched for interactive Web-based interventions targeting the treatment of depression. The Beacon website, an information portal for online health applications, was also consulted. For each identified program, accessibility, usability, tools, support, and research evidence were evaluated and programs were categorized as evidence-based versus non-evidence-based if they had been the subject of at least one randomized controlled trial. Programs were scored using a 28-point rating system, and evidence- versus non-evidence-based programs were compared and contrasted. Although this review included all programs meeting exclusion and inclusion criteria found using the described search method, only English language Web-delivered depression programs were awarded an evaluation score. Results: The review identified 32 programs meeting inclusion criteria. There was a great deal of variability among the programs captured in this evaluation. Many of the programs were developed for general adolescent or adult audiences, with few (n=2) focusing on special populations (eg, military personnel, older adults). Cognitive behavioral therapy was the most common therapeutic approach used in the programs described. Program interactive components included mood assessments and supplementary homework sheets such as activity planning and goal setting. Only 12 of the programs had published evidence in support of their efficacy and treatment of depressive symptoms. Conclusions: There are a number of interactive depression interventions available through the Internet. Recommendations for future programs, or the adaptation of existing programs include offering a greater selection of alternative languages, removing registration restrictions, free trial periods for programs requiring user fees, and amending programs to meet the needs of special populations (eg, those with cognitive and/or visual impairments). Furthermore, discussion of specific and relevant topics to the target audience while also enhancing overall user control would contribute to a more accessible intervention tool. 2014/09/25 - 11:59

Background: Women’s College Hospital (WCH) offers specialized surgical procedures, including ambulatory breast reconstruction in post-mastectomy breast cancer patients. Most patients receiving ambulatory surgery have low rates of postoperative events necessitating clinic visits. Increasingly, mobile monitoring and follow-up care is used to overcome the distance patients must travel to receive specialized care at a reduced cost to society. WCH has completed a feasibility study using a mobile app (QoC Health Inc, Toronto) that suggests high patient satisfaction and adequate detection of postoperative complications. Objective: The proposed cost-effectiveness study models the replacement of conventional, in-person postoperative follow-up care with mobile app follow-up care following ambulatory breast reconstruction in post-mastectomy breast cancer patients. Methods: This is a societal perspective cost-effectiveness analysis, wherein all costs are assessed irrespective of the payer. The patient/caregiver, health care system, and externally borne costs are calculated within the first postoperative month based on cost information provided by WCH and QoC Health Inc. The effectiveness of telemedicine and conventional follow-up care is measured as successful surgical outcomes at 30-days postoperative, and is modeled based on previous clinical trials containing similar patient populations and surgical risks. Results: This costing assumes that 1000 patients are enrolled in bring-your-own-device (BYOD) mobile app follow-up per year and that 1.64 in-person follow-ups are attended in the conventional arm within the first month postoperatively. The total cost difference between mobile app and in-person follow-up care is $245 CAD ($223 USD based on the current exchange rate), with in-person follow-up being more expensive ($381 CAD) than mobile app follow-up care ($136 CAD). This takes into account the total of health care system, patient, and external borne costs. If we examine health care system costs alone, in-person follow-up is $38 CAD ($35 USD) more expensive than mobile app follow-up care over the first postoperative month. The baseline difference in effect is modeled to be zero based on clinical trials examining the effectiveness of telephone follow-up care in similar patient populations. An incremental cost-effectiveness ratio (ICER) is not reportable in this scenario. An incremental net benefit (INB) is reportable, and reflects merely the cost difference between the two interventions for any willingness-to-pay value (INB=$245 CAD). The cost-effectiveness of mobile app follow-up even holds in scenarios where all mobile patients attend one in-person follow-up. Conclusions: Mobile app follow-up care is suitably targeted to low-risk postoperative ambulatory patients. It can be cost-effective from a societal and health care system perspective. 2014/09/23 - 06:45

Clinicians face difficult treatment decisions in contexts that are not well addressed by available evidence as formulated based on research. The digitization of medicine provides an opportunity for clinicians to collaborate with researchers and data scientists on solutions to previously ambiguous and seemingly insolvable questions. But these groups tend to work in isolated environments, and do not communicate or interact effectively. Clinicians are typically buried in the weeds and exigencies of daily practice such that they do not recognize or act on ways to improve knowledge discovery. Researchers may not be able to identify the gaps in clinical knowledge. For data scientists, the main challenge is discerning what is relevant in a domain that is both unfamiliar and complex. Each type of domain expert can contribute skills unavailable to the other groups. “Health hackathons” and “data marathons”, in which diverse participants work together, can leverage the current ready availability of digital data to discover new knowledge. Utilizing the complementary skills and expertise of these talented, but functionally divided groups, innovations are formulated at the systems level. As a result, the knowledge discovery process is simultaneously democratized and improved, real problems are solved, cross-disciplinary collaboration is supported, and innovations are enabled. 2014/09/20 - 00:48

Background: Krokodil is an informal term for a cheap injectable illicit drug domestically prepared from codeine-containing medication (CCM). The method of krokodil preparation may produce desomorphine as well as toxic reactants that cause extensive tissue necrosis. The first confirmed report of krokodil use in Russia took place in 2004. In 2012, reports of krokodil-related injection injuries began to appear beyond Russia in Western Europe and the United States. Objective: This exploratory study had two main objectives: (1) to determine if Internet search patterns could detect regularities in behavioral responses to Russian CCM policy at the population level, and (2) to determine if complementary data sources could explain the regularities we observed. Methods: First, we obtained krokodil-related search pattern data for each Russia subregion (oblast) between 2011 and 2012. Second, we analyzed several complementary data sources included krokodil-related court cases, and related search terms on both Google and Yandex to evaluate the characteristics of terms accompanying krokodil-related search queries. Results: In the 6 months preceding CCM sales restrictions, 21 of Russia's 83 oblasts had search rates higher than the national average (mean) of 16.67 searches per 100,000 population for terms associated with krokodil. In the 6 months following restrictions, mean national searches dropped to 9.65 per 100,000. Further, the number of oblasts recording a higher than average search rate dropped from 30 to 16. Second, we found krokodil-related court appearances were moderately positively correlated (Spearman correlation=.506, P≤.001) with behaviors consistent with an interest in the production and use of krokodil across Russia. Finally, Google Trends and Google and Yandex related terms suggested consistent public interest in the production and use of krokodil as well as for CCM as analgesic medication during the date range covered by this study. Conclusions: Illicit drug use data are generally regarded as difficult to obtain through traditional survey methods. Our analysis suggests it is plausible that Yandex search behavior served as a proxy for patterns of krokodil production and use during the date range we investigated. More generally, this study demonstrates the application of novel methods recently used by policy makers to both monitor illicit drug use and influence drug policy decision making. 2014/09/20 - 00:48

Background: Virtual patient simulation has grown substantially in health care education. A virtual patient simulation was developed as a refresher training course to reinforce nursing clinical performance in assessing and managing deteriorating patients. Objective: The objective of this study was to describe the development of the virtual patient simulation and evaluate its efficacy, by comparing with a conventional mannequin-based simulation, for improving the nursing students’ performances in assessing and managing patients with clinical deterioration. Methods: A randomized controlled study was conducted with 57 third-year nursing students who were recruited through email. After a baseline evaluation of all participants’ clinical performance in a simulated environment, the experimental group received a 2-hour fully automated virtual patient simulation while the control group received 2-hour facilitator-led mannequin-based simulation training. All participants were then re-tested one day (first posttest) and 2.5 months (second posttest) after the intervention. The participants from the experimental group completed a survey to evaluate their learning experiences with the newly developed virtual patient simulation. Results: Compared to their baseline scores, both experimental and control groups demonstrated significant improvements (P<.001) in first and second post-test scores. While the experimental group had significantly lower (P<.05) second post-test scores compared with the first post-test scores, no significant difference (P=.94) was found between these two scores for the control group. The scores between groups did not differ significantly over time (P=.17). The virtual patient simulation was rated positively. Conclusions: A virtual patient simulation for a refreshing training course on assessing and managing clinical deterioration was developed. Although the randomized controlled study did not show that the virtual patient simulation was superior to mannequin-based simulation, both simulations have demonstrated to be effective refresher learning strategies for improving nursing students’ clinical performance. Given the greater resource requirements of mannequin-based simulation, the virtual patient simulation provides a more promising alternative learning strategy to mitigate the decay of clinical performance over time. 2014/09/20 - 00:48

Background: Major depression accounts for the greatest burden of all diseases globally. The peak onset of depression occurs between adolescence and young adulthood, and for many individuals, depression displays a relapse-remitting and increasingly severe course. Given this, the development of cost-effective, acceptable, and population-focused interventions for depression is critical. A number of online interventions (both prevention and acute phase) have been tested in young people with promising results. As these interventions differ in content, clinician input, and modality, it is important to identify key features (or unhelpful functions) associated with treatment outcomes. Objective: A systematic review of the research literature was undertaken. The review was designed to focus on two aspects of online intervention: (1) standard approaches evaluating online intervention content in randomized controlled designs (Section 1), and (2) second-generation online interventions and services using social networking (eg, social networking sites and online support groups) in any type of research design (Section 2). Methods: Two specific literature searches were undertaken. There was no date range specified. The Section 1 search, which focused on randomized controlled trials, included only young people (12-25 years) and yielded 101 study abstracts, of which 15 met the review inclusion criteria. The Section 2 search, which included all study design types and was not restricted in terms of age, yielded 358 abstracts, of which 22 studies met the inclusion criteria. Information about the studies and their findings were extracted and tabulated for review. Results: The 15 studies identified in Section 1 described 10 trials testing eight different online interventions, all of which were based on a cognitive behavioral framework. All but one of the eight identified studies reported positive results; however, only five of the 15 studies used blinded interviewer administered outcomes with most trials using self-report data. Studies varied significantly in presentation of intervention content, treatment dose, and dropout. Only two studies included moderator or clinician input. Results for Section 2 were less consistent. None of the Section 2 studies reported controlled or randomized designs. With the exception of four studies, all included participants were younger than 25 years of age. Eight of the 16 social networking studies reported positive results for depression-related outcomes. The remaining studies were either mixed or negative. Findings for online support groups tended to be more positive; however, noteworthy risks were identified. Conclusions: Online interventions with a broad cognitive behavioral focus appear to be promising in reducing depression symptomology in young people. Further research is required into the effectiveness of online interventions delivering cognitive behavioral subcomponents, such as problem-solving therapy. Evidence for the use of social networking is less compelling, although limited by a lack of well-designed studies and social networking interventions. A range of future social networking therapeutic opportunities are highlighted. 2014/09/20 - 00:48

The use of mobile medical apps by clinicians and others has grown considerably since the introduction of mobile phones. Medical apps offer clinicians the ability to access medical knowledge and patient data at the point of care, but several studies have highlighted apps that could compromise patient safety and are potentially dangerous. This article identifies a range of different kinds of risks that medical apps can contribute to and important contextual variables that can modify these risks. We have also developed a simple generic risk framework that app users, developers, and other stakeholders can use to assess the likely risks posed by a specific app in a specific context. This should help app commissioners, developers, and users to manage risks and improve patient safety. 2014/09/20 - 00:48

Background: Angina affects more than 50 million people worldwide. Secondary prevention interventions such as cardiac rehabilitation are not widely available for this population. An Internet-based version could offer a feasible alternative. Objective: Our aim was to examine the effectiveness of a Web-based cardiac rehabilitation program for those with angina. Methods: We conducted a randomized controlled trial, recruiting those diagnosed with angina from general practitioners (GPs) in primary care to an intervention or control group. Intervention group participants were offered a 6-week Web-based rehabilitation program (“ActivateYourHeart”). The program was introduced during a face-to-face appointment and then delivered via the Internet (no further face-to-face contact). The program contained information about the secondary prevention of coronary heart disease (CHD) and set each user goals around physical activity, diet, managing emotions, and smoking. Performance against goals was reviewed throughout the program and goals were then reset/modified. Participants completed an online exercise diary and communicated with rehabilitation specialists through an email link/synchronized chat room. Participants in the control group continued with GP treatment as usual, which consisted of being placed on a CHD register and attending an annual review. Outcomes were measured at 6-week and 6-month follow-ups during face-to-face assessments. The primary outcome measure was change in daily steps at 6 weeks, measured using an accelerometer. Secondary outcome measures were energy expenditure (EE), duration of sedentary activity (DSA), duration of moderate activity (DMA), weight, diastolic/systolic blood pressure, and body fat percentage. Self-assessed questionnaire outcomes included fat/fiber intake, anxiety/depression, self-efficacy, and quality of life (QOL). Results: A total of 94 participants were recruited and randomized to the intervention (n=48) or the usual care (n=46) group; 84 and 73 participants completed the 6-week and 6-month follow-ups, respectively. The mean number of log-ins to the program was 18.68 (SD 13.13, range 1-51), an average of 3 log-ins per week per participant. Change in daily steps walked at the 6-week follow-up was +497 (SD 2171) in the intervention group and –861 (SD 2534) in the control group (95% CI 263-2451, P=.02). Significant intervention effects were observed at the 6-week follow-up in EE (+43.94 kcal, 95% CI 43.93-309.98, P=.01), DSA (–7.79 minutes, 95% CI –55.01 to –7.01, P=.01), DMA (+6.31 minutes, 95% CI 6.01-51.20, P=.01), weight (–0.56 kg, 95% CI –1.78 to –0.15, P=.02), self-efficacy (95% CI 0.30-4.79, P=.03), emotional QOL score (95% CI 0.01-0.54, P=.04), and angina frequency (95% CI 8.57-35.05, P=.002). Significant benefits in angina frequency (95% CI 1.89-29.41, P=.02) and social QOL score (95% CI 0.05-0.54, P=.02) were also observed at the 6-month follow-up. Conclusions: An Internet-based secondary prevention intervention could be offered to those with angina. A larger pragmatic trial is required to provide definitive evidence of effectiveness and cost-effectiveness. Trial Registration: International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN): 90110503; (Archived by WebCite at 2014/09/12 - 20:33

Background: The Internet is used increasingly for both suicide research and prevention. To optimize online assessment of suicidal patients, there is a need for short, good-quality tools to assess elevated risk of future suicidal behavior. Computer adaptive testing (CAT) can be used to reduce response burden and improve accuracy, and make the available pencil-and-paper tools more appropriate for online administration. Objective: The aim was to test whether an item response–based computer adaptive simulation can be used to reduce the length of the Beck Scale for Suicide Ideation (BSS). Methods: The data used for our simulation was obtained from a large multicenter trial from The Netherlands: the Professionals in Training to STOP suicide (PITSTOP suicide) study. We applied a principal components analysis (PCA), confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), a graded response model (GRM), and simulated a CAT. Results: The scores of 505 patients were analyzed. Psychometric analyses showed the questionnaire to be unidimensional with good internal consistency. The computer adaptive simulation showed that for the estimation of elevation of risk of future suicidal behavior 4 items (instead of the full 19) were sufficient, on average. Conclusions: This study demonstrated that CAT can be applied successfully to reduce the length of the Dutch version of the BSS. We argue that the use of CAT can improve the accuracy and the response burden when assessing the risk of future suicidal behavior online. Because CAT can be daunting for clinicians and applied scientists, we offer a concrete example of our computer adaptive simulation of the Dutch version of the BSS at the end of the paper. 2014/09/12 - 20:33

Background: Previous research suggests that Internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (ICBT) has a positive effect on symptoms of depression. ICBT appears to be more effective with therapist support, but it is unclear what this support should comprise. General practitioners (GPs) have positive attitudes toward ICBT. However, ICBT is rarely used in regular care in general practice. More research is warranted to integrate the potential of ICBT as part of regular care. Objective: The aim of this study was to explore aspects perceived by GPs to affect the implementation of guided ICBT in daily practice. Understanding their perspectives may contribute to improving the treatment of depression in the context of general practice. Methods: A training package (3-day course) introducing a Norwegian translation of the ICBT program MoodGYM was developed and presented to GPs in Norway. Following training, GPs were asked to include guided ICBT in their regular care of patients with symptoms of depression by providing brief, face-to-face follow-up consultations between modules. We interviewed 11 GPs who had taken the course. Our interview guide comprised open questions that encouraged GPs to frame their responses using examples from their experiences when implementing ICBT. Thematic analysis was chosen to explore patterns across the data. Results: An overall belief that ICBT would benefit both the patients’ health and the GPs’ own work satisfaction prompted the GPs to take the ICBT course. ICBT motivated them to invest time and effort in improving treatment. The most important motivating aspects in MoodGYM were that a program based on cognitive behavioral therapy could add a structured agenda to their consultations and empower depressed patients. Organizational aspects, such as a lack of time and varied practice, inhibited the use of ICBT. Inadequate knowledge, recalling the program, and changing own habits were also challenging. The GPs were ambivalent about whether ICBT had a negative impact on the doctor–patient interaction in the module follow-ups. Generally, GPs made an effort to recommend MoodGYM, but the expected module follow-ups were often not provided to patients and instead the GPs returned to standard treatment. Conclusions: GPs’ feedback in the present study contribute to our understanding of the challenges of changing treatment for depression. Our findings indicated that recommending ICBT could add to the GP’s toolkit. Offering training and highlighting the following aspects may increase recommendation of ICBT by GPs: (1) ICBT is theory-based and credible, (2) ICBT increases the GPs’ work satisfaction by having a tool to offer, and (3) ICBT facilitates empowerment of patients in their own health. In addition, the present study also indicated that complex aspects must be accommodated before module follow-ups can be incorporated into GPs’ treatment of depression. 2014/09/11 - 07:54

Background: Facebook is the most popular social network site, with over 1 billion users globally. There are millions of apps available within Facebook, many of which address health and health behavior change. Facebook may represent a promising channel to reach smokers with cessation interventions via apps. To date, there have been no published reports about Facebook apps for smoking cessation. Objective: The purpose of this study was to review the features and functionality of Facebook apps for smoking cessation and to determine the extent to which they adhere to evidence-based guidelines for tobacco dependence treatment. Methods: In August 2013, we searched Facebook and three top Internet search engines using smoking cessation keywords to identify relevant Facebook apps. Resultant apps were screened for eligibility (smoking cessation-related, English language, and functioning). Eligible apps were reviewed by 2 independent coders using a standardized coding scheme. Coding included content features (interactive, informational, and social) and adherence to an established 20-item index (possible score 0-40) derived from the US Public Health Service’s Clinical Practice Guidelines for Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence. Results: We screened 22 apps for eligibility; of these, 12 underwent full coding. Only 9 apps were available on Facebook. Facebook apps fell into three broad categories: public pledge to quit (n=3), quit-date–based calculator/tracker (n=4), or a multicomponent quit smoking program (n=2). All apps incorporated interactive, informational, and social features except for two quit-date–based calculator/trackers apps (lacked informational component). All apps allowed app-related posting within Facebook (ie, on self/other Facebook profile), and four had a within-app “community” feature to enable app users to communicate with each other. Adherence index summary scores among Facebook apps were low overall (mean 15.1, SD 7.8, range 7-30), with multicomponent apps scoring the highest. Conclusions: There are few smoking cessation apps available within Facebook. Among those available, adherence to cessation treatment guidelines was low. Smoking cessation interventions provided via the Facebook platform are a unique and as yet untapped treatment strategy that can harness existing social support and social networks for quitting. Research is needed to examine whether apps that adhere to clinical practice guidelines for tobacco dependence treatment are more effective in promoting cessation than those that do not. 2014/09/11 - 07:54

Background: As they age, baby boomers (born 1946-1964) will have increasing medical needs and are likely to place large demand on health care resources. Consumer health technologies may help stem rising health care needs and costs by improving provider-to-patient communication, health monitoring, and information access and enabling self-care. Research has not explored the degree to which baby boomers are ready for, or are currently embracing, specific consumer health technologies This study explores how baby boomers’ readiness to use various technologies for health purposes compares to other segments of the adult population. Objective: The goals of the study are to (1) examine what technologies baby boomers are ready to use for health purposes, (2) investigate barriers to baby boomers’ use of technology for health purposes, and (3) understand whether readiness for and barriers to baby boomers’ use of consumer health technologies differ from those of other younger and older consumers. Methods: Data were collected via a survey offered to a random sample of 3000 subscribers to a large pharmacy benefit management company. Respondents had the option to complete the survey online or by completing a paper-based version of the survey. Results: Data from 469 respondents (response rate 15.63%) were analyzed, including 258 baby boomers (aged 46-64 years), 72 younger (aged 18-45 years), and 139 older (age >64 years) participants. Baby boomers were found to be similar to the younger age group, but significantly more likely than the older age group to be ready to use 5 technologies for health purposes (health information websites, email, automated call centers, medical video conferencing, and texting). Baby boomers were less ready than the younger age group to adopt podcasts, kiosks, smartphones, blogs, and wikis for health care purposes. However, baby boomers were more likely than older adults to use smartphones and podcasts for health care purposes. Specific adoption barriers vary according to the technology. Conclusions: Baby boomers have commonalities with and distinctions from both younger and older adults in their readiness to adopt specific consumer health technologies and the barriers they experience to adoption. Baby boomers’ nuances regarding readiness to adopt and the barriers associated with the various forms of consumer health technology should be taken into account by those interested in promoting consumer health technologies use among baby boomers when developing applications, choosing technologies, preparing users for use, and in promotional tactics. 2014/09/08 - 23:47

Background: Bystander intervention approaches offer promise for reducing rates of sexual violence on college campuses. Most interventions are in-person small-group formats, which limit their reach and reduce their overall public health impact. Objective: This study evaluated the efficacy of RealConsent, a Web-based bystander approach to sexual violence prevention, in enhancing prosocial intervening behaviors and preventing sexual violence perpetration. Methods: A random probability sample of 743 male undergraduate students (aged 18 to 24 years) attending a large, urban university located in the southeastern United States was recruited online and randomized to either RealConsent (n=376) or a Web-based general health promotion program (n=367). Participants were surveyed online at baseline, postintervention, and 6-months postintervention. RealConsent was delivered via a password-protected Web portal that contained six 30-minute media-based and interactive modules covering knowledge of informed consent, communication skills regarding sex, the role of alcohol and male socialization in sexual violence, empathy for rape victims, and bystander education. Primary outcomes were self-reported prosocial intervening behaviors and sexual violence perpetration. Secondary outcomes were theoretical mediators (eg, knowledge, attitudes). Results: At 6-month follow-up RealConsent participants intervened more often (P=.04) and engaged in less sexual violence perpetration (P=.04) compared to controls. In addition, RealConsent participants reported greater legal knowledge of sexual assault (P<.001), greater knowledge of effective consent (P<.001), less rape myths (P<.001), greater empathy for rape victims (P<.001), less negative date rape attitudes (P<.001), less hostility toward women (P=.01), greater intentions to intervene (P=.04), less hyper-gender ideology (P<.001), less positive outcome expectancies for nonconsensual sex (P=.03), more positive outcome expectancies for intervening (P<.001), and less comfort with other men’s inappropriate behaviors (P<.001). Conclusions: Our results support the efficacy of RealConsent. Due to its Web-based format, RealConsent has potential for broad-based dissemination thereby increasing its overall public health impact on sexual violence. Trial Registration: NCT01903876; (Archived by WebCite at 2014/09/06 - 13:26

Background: Social media is used increasingly by the general public to access health information. However, a lack of models for health information distribution limits the presence of publicly funded services on social media sites. Objective: The goal of the study was to present a model for delivering child health information to parents through a social media site. Methods: A Facebook site was launched for 11 months based on a question-and-answer service produced by a pediatrician and open to Facebook users over 18 years old. If the answer did not include a further referral to a health care service provider, the question was considered comprehensively answered. The site was funded by a pharmaceutical company, and it included an advertisement of a pharmaceutical product for children’s fever and pain. Results: During the study, 768 questions were submitted: an average of 69.8 (SD 31.7) per month. There were 245,533 independent Facebook users on the site, with an average of 727.0 (SD 2280.6) per day. Infections were the most common theme in questions (355/768, 46.2%). Questions were more likely to be comprehensively answered if they were related to infections (279/355, 78.6%) than questions related to non-infectious symptoms (265/423, 64.2%, P=.003). Conclusions: On this site aimed at parents of small children, personalized answers were an effective way of delivering information. The service is likely to have reduced the need for further contacts with a health care service provider in more than half of the cases. The site could serve as a model for publicly funded health information distribution. 2014/09/06 - 13:26

Background: There has been a focus recently on the use of the Internet and email to deliver education interventions to general practitioners (GPs). The treatment of breast cancer may include surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and/or hormone treatment. These treatments may have acute adverse effects. GPs need more information on the diagnosis and management of specific adverse effects encountered immediately after cancer treatment. Objective: The goal was to evaluate an Internet-based educational program developed for GPs to advise patients with acute adverse effects following breast cancer treatment. Methods: During phase 1, participants viewed 6 video vignettes of actor-patients reporting 1 of 6 acute symptoms following surgery and chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy treatment. GPs indicated their diagnosis and proposed management through an online survey program. They received feedback about each scenario in the form of a specialist clinic letter, as if the patient had been seen at a specialist clinic after they had attended the GP. This letter incorporated extracts from local guidelines on the management of the symptoms presented. This feedback was sent to the GPs electronically on the same survey platform. In phase 2, all GPs were invited to manage similar cases as phase 1. Their proposed management was compared to the guidelines. McNemar test was used to compare data from phases 1 and 2, and logistic regression was used to explore the GP characteristics that were associated with inappropriate case management. Results: A total of 50 GPs participated. Participants were younger and more likely to be female than other GPs in Australia. For 5 of 6 vignettes in phase 1, management was consistent with expert opinion in the minority of cases (6%-46%). Participant demographic characteristics had a variable effect on different management decisions in phase 1. The variables modeled explained 15%-28% of the differences observed. Diagnosis and management improved significantly in phase 2, especially for diarrhea, neutropenia, and seroma sample cases. The proportion of incorrect management responses was reduced to a minimum (25.3%-49.3%) in phase 2. Conclusions: There was evidence that providing feedback by experts on specific cases had an impact on GPs’ knowledge about how to appropriately manage acute treatment adverse effects. This educational intervention could be targeted to support the implementation of shared care during cancer treatment. 2014/09/03 - 19:18

Background: Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a high prevalence, chronic disorder. Web-based interventions are acceptable, engaging, and can be delivered at scale. Few randomized controlled trials evaluate the effectiveness of prevention programs for anxiety, or the factors that improve effectiveness and engagement. Objective: The intent of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a Web-based program in preventing GAD symptoms in young adults, and to determine the role of telephone and email reminders. Methods: A 5-arm randomized controlled trial with 558 Internet users in the community, recruited via the Australian Electoral Roll, was conducted with 6- and 12-month follow-up. Five interventions were offered over a 10-week period. Group 1 (Active website) received a combined intervention of psycho-education, Internet-delivered Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (ICBT) for anxiety, physical activity promotion, and relaxation. Group 2 (Active website with telephone) received the identical Web program plus weekly telephone reminder calls. Group 3 (Active website with email) received the identical Web program plus weekly email reminders. Group 4 (Control) received a placebo website. Group 5 (Control with telephone) received the placebo website plus telephone calls. Main outcome measures were severity of anxiety symptoms as measured by the GAD 7-item scale (GAD-7) (at post-test, 6, and 12 months). Secondary measures were GAD caseness, measured by the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) at 6 months, Centre for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression scale (CES-D), Anxiety Sensitivity Index (ASI), Penn State Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ), and Days out of Role. Results: GAD-7 symptoms reduced over post-test, 6-month, and 12-month follow-up. There were no significant differences between Group 4 (Control) and Groups 1 (Active website), 2 (Active website with telephone), 3 (Active website with email), or 5 (Control with telephone) at any follow-up. A total of 16 cases of GAD were identified at 6 months, comprising 6.7% (11/165) from the Active groups (1, 2, 3) and 4.5% (5/110) from the Control groups (4, 5), a difference that was not significant. CES-D, ASI, and PSWQ scores were significantly lower for the active website with email reminders at post-test, relative to the control website condition. Conclusions: Indicated prevention of GAD was not effective in reducing anxiety levels, measured by GAD-7. There were significant secondary effects for anxiety sensitivity, worry, and depression. Challenges for indicated prevention trials are discussed. Clinical Trial: International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN): 76298775; (Archived by WebCite at 2014/09/03 - 19:18

Background: Federally funded surveys of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine uptake are important for pinpointing geographically based health disparities. Although national and state level data are available, local (ie, county and postal code level) data are not due to small sample sizes, confidentiality concerns, and cost. Local level HPV vaccine uptake data may be feasible to obtain by targeting specific geographic areas through social media advertising and recruitment strategies, in combination with online surveys. Objective: Our goal was to use Facebook-based recruitment and online surveys to estimate local variation in HPV vaccine uptake among young men and women in Minnesota. Methods: From November 2012 to January 2013, men and women were recruited via a targeted Facebook advertisement campaign to complete an online survey about HPV vaccination practices. The Facebook advertisements were targeted to recruit men and women by location (25 mile radius of Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States), age (18-30 years), and language (English). Results: Of the 2079 men and women who responded to the Facebook advertisements and visited the study website, 1003 (48.2%) enrolled in the study and completed the survey. The average advertising cost per completed survey was US $1.36. Among those who reported their postal code, 90.6% (881/972) of the participants lived within the previously defined geographic study area. Receipt of 1 dose or more of HPV vaccine was reported by 65.6% women (351/535), and 13.0% (45/347) of men. These results differ from previously reported Minnesota state level estimates (53.8% for young women and 20.8% for young men) and from national estimates (34.5% for women and 2.3% for men). Conclusions: This study shows that recruiting a representative sample of young men and women based on county and postal code location to complete a survey on HPV vaccination uptake via the Internet is a cost-effective and feasible strategy. This study also highlights the need for local estimates to assess the variation in HPV vaccine uptake, as these estimates differ considerably from those obtained using survey data that are aggregated to the state or federal level. 2014/09/03 - 19:18

Background: Cervical cancer poses a significant threat to Korean American women, who are reported to have one of the highest cervical cancer mortality rates in the United States. Studies consistently report that Korean American women have the lowest Pap test screening rates across US ethnic groups. Objective: In response to the need to enhance cervical cancer screening in this vulnerable population, we developed and tested a 7-day mobile phone text message-based cervical cancer Screening (mScreening) intervention designed to promote the receipt of Pap tests by young Korean American women. Methods: We developed and assessed the acceptability and feasibility of a 1-week mScreening intervention to increase knowledge of cervical cancer screening, intent to receive screening, and the receipt of a Pap test. Fogg’s Behavior Model was the conceptual framework that guided the development of the mScreening intervention. A series of focus groups were conducted to inform the development of the intervention. The messages were individually tailored for each participant and delivered to them for a 7-day period at each participant’s preferred time. A quasi-experimental research design of 30 Korean American women aged 21 to 29 years was utilized with baseline, post (1 week after the completion of mScreening), and follow-up (3 months after the completion of mScreening) testing. Results: Findings revealed a significant increase in participants’ knowledge of cervical cancer (P<.001) and guidelines for cervical cancer screening (P=.006). A total of 23% (7/30) (95% CI 9.9-42.3) of the mScreening participants received a Pap test; 83% (25/30) of the participants expressed satisfaction with the intervention and 97% (29/30) reported that they would recommend the program to their friends, indicating excellent acceptability and feasibility of the intervention. Conclusions: This study provides evidence of the effectiveness and feasibility of the mScreening intervention. Mobile technology is a promising tool to increase both knowledge and receipt of cervical cancer screening. Given the widespread usage of mobile phones among young adults, a mobile phone-based health intervention could be a low-cost and effective method of reaching populations with low cervical cancer screening rates, using individually tailored messages that cover broad content areas and overcome restrictions to place and time of delivery. 2014/08/28 - 23:57

Background: As the number of people with Internet access rises, so does the use of the Internet as a potentially valuable source for health information. Insight into patient use of this information and its correlates over time may reveal changes in the digital divide based on patient age and education. Existing research has focused on patient characteristics that predict Internet information use and research on treatment context is rare. Objective: This study aims to (1) present data on the proportion of newly diagnosed breast cancer patients treated in German breast centers from 2007 to 2013 who used the Internet for information on their disease, (2) look into correlations between Internet utilization and sociodemographic characteristics and if these change over time, and (3) determine if use of Internet information varies with the hospitals in which the patients were initially treated. Methods: Data about utilization of the Internet for breast cancer–specific health information was obtained in a postal survey of breast cancer patients that is conducted annually in Germany with a steady response rate of 87% of consenting patients. Data from the survey were combined with data obtained by hospital personnel (eg, cancer stage and type of surgery). Data from 27,491 patients from 7 consecutive annual surveys were analyzed for this paper using multilevel regression modeling to account for clustering of patients in specific hospitals. Results: Breast cancer patients seeking disease-specific information on the Internet increased significantly from 26.96% (853/3164) in 2007 to 37.21% (1485/3991) in 2013. Similar patterns of demographic correlates were found for all 7 cohorts. Older patients (≥70 years) and patients with <10 years of formal education were less likely to use the Internet for information on topics related to their disease. Internet use was significantly higher among privately insured patients and patients living with a partner. Higher cancer stage and a foreign native language were associated with decreased use in the overall model. Type of surgery was not found to be associated with Internet use in the multivariable models. Intraclass correlation coefficients were small (0.00-0.03) suggesting only a small contribution of the hospital to the patients’ decision to use Internet information. There was no clear indication of a decreased digital divide based on age and education. Conclusions: Use of the Internet for health information is on the rise among breast cancer patients. The strong age- and education-related differences raise the question of how relevant information can be adequately provided to all patients, especially to those with limited education, older age, and living without a partner. 2014/08/26 - 17:36

In this issue of JMIR, Liyanagunawardena and Williams have provided fascinating insight into the world of massive open online courses (MOOCs) as they have emerged over the past few years [1]. Their findings are clear: there is already a range of MOOCs available and they can be used for a variety of purposes in undergraduate medical education and continuous medical education for medical students, doctors, and health care professionals, with potential in health education amongst the general public. These are interesting findings and may represent a significant “next step” in the provision of online learning in health care professional education. However, some would say that the past ten years have been as much about the hype of online learning as about the real outcomes that it can actually achieve [2]. This phenomenon is not peculiar to online learning—it happens with virtually all new media when they are initially introduced to education. In past few years however, there has been a shift in thinking about this new delivery mechanism of learning. Exponents of online learning no longer claim that it can do everything or that it will replace face-to-face education, rather, they are starting to think about how it can be used strategically and how its advantages can be adequately harnessed. Such advantages might include its flexibility or increased access to learners. This new and sober atmosphere with regard to online learning in medical education means that it is probably a good time for the medical education community to look at how MOOCs can be harnessed to deliver better education. Certainly MOOCs satisfy many of the criteria that providers of medical education would like to achieve. They enable increased access, flexibility, and choice to the learner by offering learning at a time and place that suits the learner with substantial amounts of educational content. Another important component is that they are free to the learner. Free access is clearly important to many learners, but the current business model for the provision of MOOCs remains uncertain. Online learning is associated with significant costs, which cannot be ignored in the current economic environment [3]. How long will universities be able to make their content freely available throughout the world without undermining their basic business model, which involves charging learners for their courses? The answer to this question will likely help us draw conclusions as to whether MOOCs are just another passing technology fad or a sustainable long-term solution. 2014/08/26 - 17:36

Background: Medical treatments with no direct effect (like homeopathy) or that cause harm (like bloodletting) are common across cultures and throughout history. How do such treatments spread and persist? Most medical treatments result in a range of outcomes: some people improve while others deteriorate. If the people who improve are more inclined to tell others about their experiences than the people who deteriorate, ineffective or even harmful treatments can maintain a good reputation. Objective: The intent of this study was to test the hypothesis that positive outcomes are overrepresented in online medical product reviews, to examine if this reputational distortion is large enough to bias people’s decisions, and to explore the implications of this bias for the cultural evolution of medical treatments. Methods: We compared outcomes of weight loss treatments and fertility treatments in clinical trials to outcomes reported in 1901 reviews on Amazon. Then, in a series of experiments, we evaluated people’s choice of weight loss diet after reading different reviews. Finally, a mathematical model was used to examine if this bias could result in less effective treatments having a better reputation than more effective treatments. Results: Data are consistent with the hypothesis that people with better outcomes are more inclined to write reviews. After 6 months on the diet, 93% (64/69) of online reviewers reported a weight loss of 10 kg or more while just 27% (19/71) of clinical trial participants experienced this level of weight change. A similar positive distortion was found in fertility treatment reviews. In a series of experiments, we show that people are more inclined to begin a diet with many positive reviews, than a diet with reviews that are representative of the diet’s true effect. A mathematical model of medical cultural evolution shows that the size of the positive distortion critically depends on the shape of the outcome distribution. Conclusions: Online reviews overestimate the benefits of medical treatments, probably because people with negative outcomes are less inclined to tell others about their experiences. This bias can enable ineffective medical treatments to maintain a good reputation. 2014/08/22 - 19:01

Background: Online interventions have emerged as a popular strategy to promote healthy behaviors. Currently, there is little agreement about how to capture online intervention engagement. It is also uncertain who engages with weight-related online interventions and how engagement differs by demographic and weight characteristics. Objective: The objectives of this study were to (1) characterize how pregnant women engaged with features of an online intervention to prevent excessive gestational weight gain, (2) identify demographic and weight status subgroups of women within the sample, and (3) examine differences in use of intervention features across the demographic and weight status subgroups. Methods: A sample of racially and socioeconomically diverse pregnant women from a northeastern US city was assigned to the intervention group in a randomized controlled trial to prevent excessive gestational weight gain (n=1014). The intervention website included these features: weight-gain tracker, health-related articles, blogs, physical activity and diet goal-setting tools, and local resources. Engagement variables were created to capture the amount, consistency, and patterns of feature use across pregnancy using latent class analysis. Demographic/weight status subgroups were also created using latent class analysis. Differences in engagement across the demographic/weight status subgroups were examined using chi-square analysis. Results: Six engagement patterns emerged: “super-users” (13.02%, 132/1014), “medium-users” (14.00%, 142/1014), “consistent weight-tracker users” (14.99%, 152/1014); “almost consistent weight-tracker users” (21.99%, 223/1014), “inconsistent weight-tracker users” (15.98%, 162/1014), and “non-users” (20.02%, 203/1014). Four demographic/weight status subgroups emerged: three minority and one white. There were different engagement patterns by demographic/weight status subgroups. Super-users were more likely to be in the white subgroup, while non-users were more likely to be in the minority subgroups. However, around a third of women in minority subgroups were consistently or almost consistently engaging with the weight-tracker (black, young women, 32.2%, 67/208; black, heavier women, 37.9%, 50/132; Hispanic women, 27.4%, 32/117). Conclusions: While white and higher income women had higher engagement in general, depending on the measure, there was still considerable engagement by the minority and low-income women. Trial Registration: NCT01331564; (Archived by WebCite at 2014/08/22 - 19:01

Background: Electronic activity monitors (such as those manufactured by Fitbit, Jawbone, and Nike) improve on standard pedometers by providing automated feedback and interactive behavior change tools via mobile device or personal computer. These monitors are commercially popular and show promise for use in public health interventions. However, little is known about the content of their feedback applications and how individual monitors may differ from one another. Objective: The purpose of this study was to describe the behavior change techniques implemented in commercially available electronic activity monitors. Methods: Electronic activity monitors (N=13) were systematically identified and tested by 3 trained coders for at least 1 week each. All monitors measured lifestyle physical activity and provided feedback via an app (computer or mobile). Coding was based on a hierarchical list of 93 behavior change techniques. Further coding of potentially effective techniques and adherence to theory-based recommendations were based on findings from meta-analyses and meta-regressions in the research literature. Results: All monitors provided tools for self-monitoring, feedback, and environmental change by definition. The next most prevalent techniques (13 out of 13 monitors) were goal-setting and emphasizing discrepancy between current and goal behavior. Review of behavioral goals, social support, social comparison, prompts/cues, rewards, and a focus on past success were found in more than half of the systems. The monitors included a range of 5-10 of 14 total techniques identified from the research literature as potentially effective. Most of the monitors included goal-setting, self-monitoring, and feedback content that closely matched recommendations from social cognitive theory. Conclusions: Electronic activity monitors contain a wide range of behavior change techniques typically used in clinical behavioral interventions. Thus, the monitors may represent a medium by which these interventions could be translated for widespread use. This technology has broad applications for use in clinical, public health, and rehabilitation settings. 2014/08/16 - 17:46

Background: Massive open online courses (MOOCs) have become immensely popular in a short span of time. However, there is very little research exploring MOOCs in the discipline of health and medicine. Objective: We aim to provide a review of MOOCs related to health and medicine offered by various MOOC platforms in 2013, by analyzing and comparing the various offerings, their target audience, typical length of course, and credentials offered. We also discuss opportunities and challenges presented by MOOCs in health and medicine. Methods: Health and medicine–related MOOCs were gathered using several methods to ensure the richness and completeness of data. Identified MOOC platform websites were used to gather the lists of offerings. In parallel, these MOOC platforms were contacted to access official data on their offerings. Two MOOC aggregator sites (Class Central and MOOC List) were also consulted to gather data on MOOC offerings. Eligibility criteria were defined to concentrate on the courses that were offered in 2013 and primarily on the subject of health and medicine. All language translations in this paper were done using Google Translate. Results: The search identified 225 courses, of which 98 were eligible for the review. Over half (58%, 57/98) of the MOOCs considered were offered on the Coursera platform, and 94% (92/98) of all the MOOCs were offered in English. Universities offered 90 MOOCs, and the John Hopkins University offered the largest number of MOOCs (12/90). Only three MOOCs were offered by developing countries (China, West Indies, and Saudi Arabia). The duration of MOOCs varied from 3-20 weeks with an average length of 6.7 weeks. On average, MOOCs expected a participant to work on the material for 4.2 hours a week. Verified certificates were offered by 14 MOOCs, while three others offered other professional recognition. Conclusions: The review presents evidence to suggest that MOOCs can be used as a way to provide continuous medical education. It also shows the potential of MOOCs as a means of increasing health literacy among the public. 2014/08/15 - 07:56

Background: Chronic back pain (CBP) represents a significant public health problem. As one of the most common causes of disability and sick leave, there is a need to develop cost-effective ways, such as Internet-based interventions, to help empower patients to manage their disease. Research has provided evidence for the effectiveness of Internet-based interventions in many fields, but it has paid little attention to the reasons why they are effective. Objective: This study aims to assess the impact of interactive sections of an Internet-based self-management intervention on patient empowerment, their management of the disease, and, ultimately, health outcomes. Methods: A total of 51 patients were recruited through their health care providers and randomly assigned to either an experimental group with full access to the Internet-based intervention or a control group that was denied access to the interactive sections and knew nothing thereof. The intervention took 8 weeks. A baseline, a mid-term after 4 weeks, and a final assessment after 8 weeks measured patient empowerment, physical exercise, medication misuse, and pain burden. Results: All patients completed the study. Overall, the intervention had a moderate effect (F1.52=2.83, P=.03, η2=0.30, d=0.55). Compared to the control group, the availability of interactive sections significantly increased patient empowerment (midterm assessment: mean difference=+1.2, P=.03, d=0.63; final assessment: mean difference=+0.8, P=.09, d=0.44) and reduced medication misuse (midterm assessment: mean difference=−1.5, P=.04, d=0.28; final assessment: mean difference=−1.6, P=.03, d=−0.55) in the intervention group. Both the frequency of physical exercise and pain burden decreased, but to equal measures in both groups. Conclusions: Results suggest that interactive sections as part of Internet-based interventions can positively alter patients’ feelings of empowerment and help prevent medication misuse. Detrimental effects were not observed. Trial Registration: NCT02114788; (Archived by WebCite at 2014/08/15 - 07:56

Background: PlayMancer is a video game designed to increase emotional regulation and reduce general impulsive behaviors, by training to decrease arousal and improve decision-making and planning. We have previously demonstrated the usefulness of PlayMancer in reducing impulsivity and improving emotional regulation in bulimia nervosa (BN) patients. However, whether these improvements are actually translated into brain changes remains unclear. Objective: The aim of this case study was to report on a 28-year-old Spanish woman with BN, and to examine changes in physiological variables and brain activity after a combined treatment of video game therapy (VGT) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Methods: Ten VGT sessions were carried out on a weekly basis. Anxiety, physiological, and impulsivity measurements were recorded. The patient was scanned in a 1.5-T magnetic resonance scanner, prior to and after the 10-week VGT/CBT combined treatment, using two paradigms: (1) an emotional face-matching task, and (2) a multi-source interference task (MSIT). Results: Upon completing the treatment, a decrease in average heart rate was observed. The functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) results indicated a post-treatment reduction in reaction time along with high accuracy. The patient engaged areas typically active in healthy controls, although the cluster extension of the active areas decreased after the combined treatment. Conclusions: These results suggest a global improvement in emotional regulation and impulsivity control after the VGT therapy in BN, demonstrated by both physiological and neural changes. These promising results suggest that a combined treatment of CBT and VGT might lead to functional cerebral changes that ultimately translate into better cognitive and emotional performances. 2014/08/15 - 07:56

Background: Advances in nutritional assessment are continuing to embrace developments in computer technology. The online Food4Me food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) was created as an electronic system for the collection of nutrient intake data. To ensure its accuracy in assessing both nutrient and food group intake, further validation against data obtained using a reliable, but independent, instrument and assessment of its reproducibility are required. Objective: The aim was to assess the reproducibility and validity of the Food4Me FFQ against a 4-day weighed food record (WFR). Methods: Reproducibility of the Food4Me FFQ was assessed using test-retest methodology by asking participants to complete the FFQ on 2 occasions 4 weeks apart. To assess the validity of the Food4Me FFQ against the 4-day WFR, half the participants were also asked to complete a 4-day WFR 1 week after the first administration of the Food4Me FFQ. Level of agreement between nutrient and food group intakes estimated by the repeated Food4Me FFQ and the Food4Me FFQ and 4-day WFR were evaluated using Bland-Altman methodology and classification into quartiles of daily intake. Crude unadjusted correlation coefficients were also calculated for nutrient and food group intakes. Results: In total, 100 people participated in the assessment of reproducibility (mean age 32, SD 12 years), and 49 of these (mean age 27, SD 8 years) also took part in the assessment of validity. Crude unadjusted correlations for repeated Food4Me FFQ ranged from .65 (vitamin D) to .90 (alcohol). The mean cross-classification into “exact agreement plus adjacent” was 92% for both nutrient and food group intakes, and Bland-Altman plots showed good agreement for energy-adjusted macronutrient intakes. Agreement between the Food4Me FFQ and 4-day WFR varied, with crude unadjusted correlations ranging from .23 (vitamin D) to .65 (protein, % total energy) for nutrient intakes and .11 (soups, sauces and miscellaneous foods) to .73 (yogurts) for food group intake. The mean cross-classification into “exact agreement plus adjacent” was 80% and 78% for nutrient and food group intake, respectively. There were no significant differences between energy intakes estimated using the Food4Me FFQ and 4-day WFR, and Bland-Altman plots showed good agreement for both energy and energy-controlled nutrient intakes. Conclusions: The results demonstrate that the online Food4Me FFQ is reproducible for assessing nutrient and food group intake and has moderate agreement with the 4-day WFR for assessing energy and energy-adjusted nutrient intakes. The Food4Me FFQ is a suitable online tool for assessing dietary intake in healthy adults. 2014/08/15 - 07:56

Background: Increasing numbers of patients have direct access to laboratory test results outside of clinical consultations. This offers increased opportunities for both self-management of chronic conditions and advance preparation for clinic visits if patients are able to identify test results that are outside the reference ranges. Objective: Our objective was to assess whether adults can identify laboratory blood test values outside reference ranges when presented in a format similar to some current patient portals implemented within electronic health record (EHR) systems. Methods: In an Internet-administered survey, adults aged 40-70 years, approximately half with diabetes, were asked to imagine that they had type 2 diabetes. They were shown laboratory test results displayed in a standard tabular format. We randomized hemoglobin A1c values to be slightly (7.1%) or moderately (8.4%) outside the reference range and randomized other test results to be within or outside their reference ranges (ie, multiple deviations). We assessed (1) whether respondents identified the hemoglobin A1c level as outside the reference range, (2) how respondents rated glycemic control, and (3) whether they would call their doctor. We also measured numeracy and health literacy. Results: Among the 1817 adult participants, viewing test results with multiple deviations increased the probability of identifying hemoglobin A1c values as outside the reference range (participants with diabetes: OR 1.47, 95% CI 1.12-1.92, P=.005; participants without diabetes: OR 1.50, 95% CI 1.13-2.00, P=.005). Both numeracy and health literacy were significant predictors of correctly identifying out-of-range values. For participants with diabetes, numeracy OR 1.32 per unit on a 1-6 scale (95% CI 1.15-1.51, P<.001) and literacy OR 1.59 per unit of a 1-5 scale (95% CI 1.35-1.87, P<.001); for participants without diabetes, numeracy OR 1.36 per unit (95% CI 1.17-1.58, P<.001) and literacy OR 1.33 per unit (95% CI 1.12-1.58, P=.001). Predicted probabilities suggested 77% of higher numeracy and health literacy participants, but only 38% of lower numeracy and literacy participants, could correctly identify the hemoglobin A1c levels as outside the reference range. Correct identification reduced perceived blood glucose control (mean difference 1.68-1.71 points on a 0-10 scale, P<.001). For participants with diabetes, increased health literacy reduced the likelihood of calling one’s doctor when hemoglobin A1c=7.1% (OR 0.66 per unit, 95% CI 0.52-0.82, P<.001) and increased numeracy increased intention to call when hemoglobin A1c=8.4% (OR 1.36 per unit, 95% CI 1.10-1.69, P=.005). Conclusions: Limited health literacy and numeracy skills are significant barriers to basic use of laboratory test result data as currently presented in some EHR portals. Regarding contacting their doctor, less numerate and literate participants with diabetes appear insensitive to the hemoglobin A1c level shown, whereas highly numerate and literate participants with diabetes appear very sensitive. Alternate approaches appear necessary to make test results more meaningful. 2014/08/15 - 07:56

Background: In traditional epidemiological studies, participants are likely motivated by perceived benefits, feelings of accomplishment, and belonging. No study has explored motives for participation in a Web-based cohort and the associated participant characteristics, although such information is useful for enhancing recruitment and improving cohort retention. Objective: We aimed to evaluate the relationships between motives for participation and sociodemographic, health, and lifestyle characteristics of participants in the NutriNet-Santé Web-based cohort, designed to identify nutritional risk or protective factors for chronic diseases. Methods: The motives for participation were assessed using a specifically developed questionnaire administered approximately 2 years after baseline. A total of 6352 completed the motives questionnaire (43.34%, 6352/15,000 randomly invited cohort participants). We studied the associations between motives (dependent variables) and individual characteristics with multivariate multinomial logistic regression models providing odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals. Results: In total, 46.45% (2951/6352) of participants reported that they would not have enrolled if the study had not been conducted on the Internet, whereas 28.75% (1826/6352) were not sure. Men (OR 1.21, 95% CI 1.04-1.42), individuals aged 26-35 years (OR 1.51, 95% CI 1.20-1.91), and obese participants (OR 1.30, 95% CI 1.02-1.65) were more inclined to be motivated by the Internet aspect. Compared with younger adults and managerial staff, individuals >55 years (OR 0.60, 95% CI 0.48-0.45) and employees/manual workers were less likely motivated by the Internet aspect (OR 0.77, 95% CI 0.63-0.92). Regarding reasons for participation, 61.37% (3898/6352) reported participating to help advance public health research on chronic disease prevention; 22.24% (1413/6352) to help advance nutrition-focused research; 6.89% (438/6352) in response to the call from the media, after being encouraged by a close friend/associate, or a medical provider. Individuals >45 years (vs younger participants) were more likely (OR 1.62, 95% CI 1.07-2.47), whereas overweight and obese participants (vs nonobese participants) were less likely to participate in the study for reasons related to helping public health research on chronic disease prevention (OR 0.72, 95% CI 0.58-0.89; OR 0.62, 95% CI 0.46-0.84; respectively). Exclusive public funding of the study was important for 67.02% (4257/6352) of the participants. Men (OR 1.37, 95% CI 1.17-1.61) and persons >55 years (OR 1.97, 95% CI 1.57-2.47) were more likely to consider the exclusive public funding as very important. Conclusions: The use of the Internet, the willingness to help advance public health research, and the study being publicly funded were key motives for participating in the Web-based NutriNet-Santé cohort. These motives differed by sociodemographic profile and obesity, yet were not associated with lifestyle or health status. These findings can help improve the retention strategies in Web-based cohorts, particularly during decisive study periods when principal exposure information is collected. 2014/08/15 - 07:56

There are few mechanisms that bring the academic and business worlds together in a way that would maximize the success of health technology (health tech) start-ups by increasing researchers’ knowledge about how to operate in the business world. Existing solutions (eg, technology transfer offices and dual degree MD/MBA programs) are often unavailable to researchers from outside the institution or to those who have already completed their primary education, such as practicing physicians. This paper explores current solutions and offers a partial solution: include venture capital (VC) panels in medical conferences. These VC panels educate academics on 2 important and interconnected issues: how to “pitch” their ideas in the business world and what to consider when creating a company. In these sessions, academia-based start-up companies present their ideas before a VC panel composed of professional investors and receive feedback on their idea, business plan, and presentation techniques. Recent panel recommendations from Medicine 2.0 conferences fell into 7 categories: (1) the product, service, or idea you are developing into a company, (2) determine market forces and identify the target audience, (3) describe your competitive advantage, (4) the business plan, (5) current and future resources and capabilities, (6) legal aspects, and (7) general advice on the art of pitching. The academic and business literature validates many of these recommendations suggesting that VC panels may be a viable and cost-effective introduction to business and entrepreneurial education for physicians and other health care professionals. Panels benefit not only the presenting companies, but also the physicians, psychologists, and other health care professionals attending the session. Incorporating VC panels into academic conferences might also illuminate the need for incorporating relevant business training within academia. 2014/08/06 - 21:14

Mohr and colleagues recently presented an important paper describing an integrated conceptual and technological framework for eHealth and mHealth interventions, using existing models as their point of departure [1]. They mentioned that the focus of existing psychological models on clinical outcomes instead of behavior is one of two limitations. However, behavior is a central element in both of the provided examples—the theory of planned behavior and the social cognitive theory. The second limitation was that “psychological models do not include critically important factors that can guide the design and specifications for a BIT (behavioral intervention technology)” [1]. The idea of describing a BIT model that supports the translation of intervention components into features is accepted with open arms. The BIT model was developed based on a review of three design models proposed by Ritterband [2], Fogg [3], and Oinas-Kukkonen [4], and addresses the limitations of these existing design models. Although the authors of the paper acknowledged that the review was not exhaustive, consideration of the intervention mapping (IM) protocol [5,6] would have added value to this viewpoint paper. The limitations of the existing design models are also addressed within IM, and there is overlap between the BIT model and IM, but each has their own unique contributions as well [7]. IM is a protocol for developing theory- and evidence-based interventions. IM describes the development process in six steps: (1) needs assessment, (2) specifying performance objectives and change objectives, (3) selecting theory-based intervention methods and practical applications, (4) designing and organizing the intervention, (5) specifying adoption and implementation plans, and (6) generating an evaluation plan. The protocol guides developers through each of these steps by means of specific tasks. I will focus on steps (2)-(4), as these steps are related to the limitations highlighted in the viewpoint paper by Mohr et al. In step 2 of IM, the required actions (ie, performance objectives) for the behavioral outcomes have to be specified. Performance objectives are specific sub-behaviors of the health promoting behavior. For example, when you like to promote condom use (health promoting behavior), you want people to obtain condoms in order to use them. This is in line with the BIT component Aims. In the BIT model, attention is being paid to usage aims. Although use can be considered as adoption and implementation at the individual level [8], it is good to think ahead and consider use as a behavior with its own determinants [9]. Therefore, in IM, each performance objective is crossed with its determinants, resulting in the formulation of change objectives. These are specific goals of an intervention—to change the determinants of sub-behaviors. In step 3 of IM, methods and applications are selected to influence the determinants in the desired direction. This step circumvents the limitations of existing design models in that “the Ritterband model does not articulate how technological components might be mapped onto more specific (and promixal) intervention goals” and the Fogg Behavior Model “does not purport to guide applications focused on changing attitudes or cognitions” [1]. A theoretical method is a general technique or process for influencing changes in the determinants, whereas an application is a specific technique for the practical use of theoretical methods in the context of the intervention. This is reflected in the BIT components Behavior change strategies and Elements, but parameters for use are not mentioned in the BIT model. The parameters for use are conditions that need to be met for a practical application to accurately reflect the theoretical method. If these parameters are lost in translation from method to application, then the method may not be used correctly and its effectiveness might be undermined. For example, feedback as a method works well if the feedback is personalized, follows behavior in time, and is specific [10]. This is different from the method of providing information about others’ approval, which can only work optimally if positive expectations are available in the environment [11]. In step 4 of IM, the methods and applications are organized in a program plan. This gets round the limitation of the Oinas-Kukkonen model that “does not discuss how individual intervention elements may be varied or integrated into a larger treatment program” [1]. IM has been used to develop eHealth or mHealth interventions [12,13] but is applicable to other intervention types. The BIT model provides tools that are very useful and more specific to the context of eHealth and mHealth interventions (ie, the BIT-Tech aspect of the model). In sum, both the BIT model and IM address the limitations of existing models. Despite considerable overlap, they each have a unique contribution. Whereas IM stresses the importance of parameters for use, the BIT model focuses on the technical instantiation. The BIT model and IM are complementary, each with their own qualities. For example, when using IM, the BIT-Tech aspect of the BIT model is deemed useful in step 4. On the other hand, when using the BIT model, intervention developers should take the parameters for use from IM into account and report this in the research protocol [14]. In my opinion, the unique contributions of both should be valued during the intervention development process. 2014/08/06 - 21:14

Background: A sizable majority of adult Internet users report looking for health information online. Social networking sites (SNS) like Facebook represent a common place to seek information, but very little is known about the representation and use of health content on SNS. Objective: Our goal in this study was to understand the role of SNS in health information seeking. More specifically, we aimed to describe how health conditions are represented on Facebook Pages and how users interact with these different conditions. Methods: We used Google Insights to identify the 20 most searched for health conditions on Google and then searched each of the resulting terms on Facebook. We compiled a list of the first 50 Facebook “Pages” results for each health condition. After filtering results to identify pages relevant to our research, we categorized pages into one of seven categories based on the page’s primary purpose. We then measured user engagement by evaluating the number of “Likes” for different conditions and types of pages. Results: The search returned 50 pages for 18 of the health conditions, but only 48 pages were found for “anemia” and 5 pages were found for “flu symptoms”, yielding a total of 953 pages. A large number of pages (29.4%, 280/953) were irrelevant to the health condition searched. Of the 673 relevant pages, 151 were not in English or originated outside the United States, leaving 522 pages to be coded for content. The most common type of page was marketing/promotion (32.2%, 168/522) followed by information/awareness (20.7%, 108/522), Wikipedia-type pages (15.5%, 81/522), patient support (9.4%, 49/522), and general support (3.6%, 19/522). Health conditions varied greatly by the primary page type. All health conditions had some marketing/promotion pages and this made up 76% (29/38) of pages on acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The largest percentage of general support pages were cancer (19%, 6/32) and stomach (16%, 4/25). For patient support, stroke (67%, 4/6), lupus (33%, 10/30), breast cancer (19%, 6/31), arthritis (16%, 6/36), and diabetes (16%, 6/37) ranked the highest. Six health conditions were not represented by any type of support pages (ie, human papillomavirus, diarrhea, flu symptoms, pneumonia, spine, human immunodeficiency virus). Marketing/promotion pages accounted for 46.73% (10,371,169/22,191,633) of all Likes, followed by support pages (40.66%, 9,023,234/22,191,633). Cancer and breast cancer accounted for 86.90% (19,284,066/22,191,633) of all page Likes. Conclusions: This research represents the first attempts to comprehensively describe publicly available health content and user engagement with health conditions on Facebook pages. Public health interventions using Facebook will need to be designed to ensure relevant information is easy to find and with an understanding that stigma associated with some health conditions may limit the users’ engagement with Facebook pages. This line of research merits further investigation as Facebook and other SNS continue to evolve over the coming years. 2014/08/06 - 21:14